July 24, 2017

Portfolio management changes at TD Asset Management

Plan sponsors may wish to consider whether this investment news has any implications for the investment options available within their plans. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada purchases units of the funds listed below, which are established as segregated funds in accordance with the Insurance Companies Act (Canada).

On March 30, 2017, TD Asset Management (TDAM) announced that Wilcox Chan, Vice President & Director, will no longer manage several funds available on Sun Life's Core investment platform, effective April 1, 2017. Wilcox Chan has taken a leave of absence for six to nine months due to family reasons.

The funds affected by this departure are:

  • TDAM Canadian Balanced Index Segregated Fund
  • TDAM Hedged U.S. Market Index Segregated Fund
  • TDAM International Equity Index Segregated Fund
  • TDAM Global Equity Index Segregated Fund
  • TDAM Canadian Equity Index Segregated Fund
  • TDAM U.S. Market Index Segregated Fund
  • TDAM U.S. Market Index (Registered) Segregated Fund

It is important to note that Mr. Chan's leave of absence is in no way related to any compliance or personnel issues. At this time, the expectation is that Wilcox Chan will eventually rejoin the organization.

Dino Vevaina, Vice President & Director has supported Mr. Chan by performing day-to-day portfolio management functions and has assumed the role of lead portfolio manager for the funds. Mr. Vevaina joined TDAM in 2006 as a member of the Quantitative Strategy team and has over 10 years of experience in portfolio management and research for U.S., Canadian and global equity indexed portfolios.

TDAM continues to experience an elevated level of turnover among senior personnel across the organization. Additional high-profile senior investment personnel departures over the past few years, include:

  • Satish Rai, Chief Investment Officer (Q1, 2015)
  • Dino Bourdos, Managing Director, Portfolio Management for derivatives, passive and structured products (Q3, 2015)
  • Olga Bylaard, Managing Director, Head of Investment Grade Fixed Income (Q1, 2016)
  • Vishal Bhatia, VP, Director and member of Passive and Quantitative teams (Q1, 2016)
  • Geoff Watson, Managing Director, head of Investment Grade Credit (Q4, 2016)
  • Anish Chopra, Managing Director, Innovative Solutions (Q1, 2017)

SunINsight Watch List
We find the departure of Mr. Chan significant given his tenure and role on the Quantitative Strategy team. However, our concerns with this departure are somewhat mitigated by the fact that the strategies managed by the team are passive/quantitative and are based on an established team-based investment process.

While overall resources for these strategies at TDAM remain appropriate, these funds continue to be on the SunINsight Watch List in the Additional Monitoring category due to the number of high-profile senior investment personnel departures over the past few years. We will continue monitoring personnel turnover and its impact on TDAM's funds listed on our Core investment platform.

Please contact your Sun Life Financial Group Retirement Services representative.